A horrible hack

xCANAANx

Gehenna Made Flesh

Year Released: 2002
Format: CD
Label: Abstraction
 
Reviewed by Tom Hughes on Jun 13, 2007
New chance to hear the year-old debut EP from these fabled Canterbury edge-metal demons with a couple of extra remastered (and damn near up to the other stuff, recording-wise) demo tracks tacked on for good measure.

Curiously, beyond the X-ing up and shout outs in the sleeve there's not actually a lot of typical edge-ness in the music or the lyrics... I wouldn't say it was a hardcore record much at all, more a verging-on-the-deathy metal thing, middlingly technical, gutturally screamy and with occasional spooky, moody, slow bits that make me think of that advert for the film with the dragons puking fire on the Houses of Parliament for some reason. In fact there is almost a doomy/stonerish D&D element in there somewhere... I'm saying xCanaanx are on the pot. Bloody hippies.

Although actually it seems there are things other than herbal messing up their heads - this is a band (or a lyricist anyway) plainly fucked up by or hung up on or in some way preoccupied with religion, specifically Christianity. Perhaps an unihibited reaction to the psychogeographical and sociocultural effects of living in the city of the Church of England's seat of power... or maybe it's just something to scream your metal bastard head off about, I dunno. Either way, it's 'stigmatic lies' this, 'bastard christ' that throughout, and indeed Gehenna itself means hell, don't you know, so check that title. Hell personified, anthromorphosised even... Hellman! So shit, there you go, it's all about mayonnaise. Sorry, I have a feeling I should be taking this much more seriously. But by the time you get to 'castrated wolves... knee deep in the blood of swine' you have to wonder if it's a gone beyond genuinely disturbed rantings into outright high camp gore/Gwar territory. Oh well, better than sweaters in septemeber or whatever I suppose.

So: I listened to this at work a lot and a few times it really got me rockin right here in my seat and made me work double fast, which was much appreciated. But it's been a bit diminishing returns as time goes on, the ear-twatting power wears off a bit and the songs fail to wear in that well. Still waiting for a metal record to beat the last Converge album frankly.

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